CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. - John Johns, deputy assistant secretary of defense for maintenance policy and programs, congratulated maintainers of the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group on their Secretary of Defense Field Level Maintenance Excellence Award during a tour of Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, June 12.
“We showcased every facet of the group,” said Col. David Wiesner, 27SOMXG commander. “We had a diverse mix of Airmen from the flight line and the back shop. That’s how we operate day-to-day. Just like operations can’t succeed without maintenance, one function of the maintenance group can’t succeed without the others. It’s the integration and interconnectedness of our group that allowed us to receive this recognition.”
The 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron gave Johns a tour through time, showing the heritage and progress of Cannon’s gunships with tours highlighting the capabilities of the AC-130H Spectre, the AC-130W Stinger II, and the MC-130J Commando II.
Across the flight line, Airmen from the 727th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron showed-off the speed and precision with which they regularly arm Cannon’s remotely piloted aircraft.
“The great success of this tour was that Airmen could talk about what they bring to the mission in their work environment,” said Wiesner. “They could directly demonstrate their jobs and their impact on our mission.”
After each walk-through and demonstration, Johns gathered maintainers to present them a coin commemorating their award.
“This coin represents a legacy of excellence and a habit of constant improvement,” said Johns, acknowledging the 27 SOMXG’s past performance and current achievements.
The coin included five pillars of excellence key to aircraft maintenance: velocity, quality, agility, efficiency and astringo—a Latin term that means commitment beyond one’s self to a higher purpose.
“Those are the values we embrace every day,” said Wiesner. “They allow us to move forward instead of resting on our success.”
Johns, who later expressed to Wiesner the good impression that the MXG’s hospitality and pride had left on him, was truly pleased by what he saw among Cannon’s award-winning maintainers.
"It's my honor to give you this coin," said Johns. "This is an exceptional team."